ACC Team Previews: Miami

Rion Brown is the only remaining rotation player from last year's squad. - Streeter Lecka

Last year the Canes won the ACC. This year, they may challenge for the worst team in the conference. They lost almost everything off that team. They brought in some talented freshmen, but none of them are true game-changers at this point. They'll hope to get by with tough defense and some timely offense. Neither will be easy.

Last Season Record:29-7 (15-3)
Preseason ACC Media Poll: 12th

Projected starters:
Manu LeComte, G, Freshman
Garrius Adams, G, Senior
Rion Brown, G, Senior
Donnavan Kirk, F, Senior
Tonye Jekiri, F, Sophomore

Key Reserves:
Erik Swoope, F, Senior
DeAndre Burnett, G, Freshman
Derrick Griffin, F, Freshman
Davon Reed, G, Freshman
Corn Elder, G, Freshman
James Kelly, F, Freshman

The Hurricanes had the most successful basketball season in their history last year. They were led by a quartet of seniors and a sophomore PG in Shane Larkin who left early for the NBA draft. That leaves just one holdover from last year, Rion Brown. Brown, unfortunately, was just a rotation piece and averaged just 6 points per game on 36% shooting (29% on 130 attempted 3s).

Brown will get a start on the wing, along with Garrius Adams, who missed last season with a knee injury. He's a decent shooter, but far too passive for a team that will lack any scoring punch. He shot 34% from 3 two years ago, but on just 47 attempts. The PG position is going to fall to a freshman. There are two candidates for the job, Lecomte and Elder. Both are very small, and almost definitely not ready to be ACC PGs. This will be a continuing problem all season long. Burnett may find himself in the backcourt in Adams' place if he can prove that he's capable of knocking down shots.

In the frontcourt, Kirk returns after transferring to DePaul after his freshman season at Miami. Now, he's a senior who figures to be a team leader. He's a face-up big man who can shoot the 3 and block shots on the other hand. Not a bad asset to have. Jekiri was production is very limited playing time last year, but showed a good ability to grab rebounds and block shots. His height is an asset, but he's very thin and very foul prone. Staying on the floor could be a challenge for him this season.

It is a shame that this team has fallen so far. Seeing the Canes win both the regular season title and the ACC tournament was preferable to usual Carolina teams, so it will be disappointing to see them fall so far. The talent level has dropped so far that there is little chance for this team to compete in the new and improved ACC. The preseason prediction of 12th could be

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